Last Monday, we took our first "field trip" to the zoo. It has been almost three years since we went last time because I was pregnant with Noah. The weather was a bit warm, but the time we had was incredible. The kids got up early, ate their breakfast in the car and spent the next two hours in the car in sweet peace. Once there, the journey of walking, walking, and more walking began.
When we arrived in the park, the first thing we saw was a poster with "bigger than life" Dora and Diego. The zoo had a 4-D show playing featuring the duo.
We then proceeded to travel through Africa, seeing lions, bears, birds, and many other beautiful animals.
The kids got to sit in a helicopter and play like they were flying over Africa.
Ostrich eggs are BIG, so BIG that Noah fit in one!! (not really!)
The zoo has a bug playground, and Karis is sliding down the leaf!
This photo needs no words.
My two little bears.
And finally, a collage with all the animals we saw. I didn't think it would be very smart to put all 200 pictures we took. God's creatures are so intricately made, some so strange looking but all made for His glory.
Family night is one of our favorite nights of the week. We (Justin and I) try to do something different and fun for the kids and ourselves. After my friend, Mandy, did theme dinners this summer with her family, I decided to do "theme family night." Our first was "Pajama Night." We ate breakfast for dinner (which isn't that random in our house, nothing like pancakes or biscuits and eggs for dinner) in our pajamas, then we watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, from the Chronicles of Narnia. I have also discovered that I am not a writer, despite my love of literature (all different genres) and my English degree, my writing skills need help. I love grammar and proofreading but creative words and stories are not my forte. So along those lines, most of my posts will be picture based.
Dinner spread consisting of: honey bun cake, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, and homemade hash browns.
The kids getting comfortable on the blow up mattress for the movie.
A family night in our pajamas, there's nothing more comfortable than that!
Four games into the season and the Princess Strikers are 0-3-1, but Karis is having a ball playing goalie. She stayed in the goal the whole second half and stopped at least 8 shots and allowed two goals. Way to go sweet girl! Our team did score 2 goals this game and are improving greatly each game.
Last week we did school outside a few days, since the weather was so cool, at least at the beginning of the week. Karis started her science/nature journal, drawing a picture in her fort from their swing set. (I am so reminded of my friend Laura's little girl, Bethany).
Karis' finished product, a tree and a pumpkin.
Noah climbed, while Karis worked.
We then moved school inside for our math lesson. Karis made her rectangles, while Noah made triangles and lines.
After school, we made our fall cut out cookies. I decided to let the kids do the whole process, help me mix up the dough, roll it out, and cut the cookies themselves.
Determination written all over her face
Steady hand finding a place for another cookie
The kids iced and decorated the cookies later that afternoon, and we shared some with our neighbors and the child watch ladies at the YMCA. It is a joy to see the kids wanting to share their cookies with others. I so enjoy being able to teach kindness, sharing, and love to others at home. (I also really enjoy cookies of any kind!!!!).
Soccer has invaded our house and time, and I am so enjoying it. Being an athlete all my life, it brings out the inner competitor in me, which sometimes is not my best side! Karis played soccer last year, but the competition was close to none. This year, she is learning about offense and defense, and she has discovered her favorite position: goalie (goal keeper). She has been playing forward too, but she prefers to stop the ball with her hands and throw it hard down the field. Our second game, we played Bubblicious: Karis' long time friend Hannah's team. They played hard against each other, not backing down a bit.
Head to head they went,
not being afraid or timid,
but when the game was over, it was all HUGS and ENCOURAGING WORDS!
We played our third game on Saturday. We lost for the third time, but Karis showed much improvement as she trapped the ball a few times to turn it the other way. She is still a bit timid when it comes to going after the ball, but she never gives up and runs the whole field.
Throwing the ball in,
going for the goal,
a contented Karis in her new favorite position: GOALIE
Karis did a great job throwing the ball down field to her teammates after stopping the other team from scoring.
She stopped four balls and allowed one goal. Great job Karis Ann!
Since early February of this year, I have anxiously been awaiting our birthday/anniversary trip to Boston. Justin and I went to Boston in the summer of 2000 for a late honeymoon. Ten years later, we were excited about going back for two reasons: 1. Justin was going to get to see the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway Park, 2. We were going to revisit historical Boston and have some time alone. My wonderful parents came from Texas for a visit and to take care of the kids for us. On Thursday morning we boarded a plane to Boston.
After an hour delay, our flight went off without a hitch, maybe we should have seen the inevitable coming with the start of the trip! By the way, rain was forecasted for the whole weekend in Boston. We arrived in Boston and went to our hotel room for our first night.
We celebrated our 11th anniversary dinner early since we would be spending our actual anniversary on a plane back to North Carolina. After searching for a place to eat, we went The Cheesecake Factory. The meal was delicious and the time spent together was wonderful.
I was too full to eat my cheesecake after dinner, so we brought one back to the room. Cheesecake is my ultimate favorite dessert. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite, I think I might have given Justin a taste or two!
We woke up pretty early on Friday in hopes of a full day of seeing Boston and then going to the game. After taking our luggage to a friend's house that we were going to stay at that night, Justin and I embarked upon our journey of walking the "Freedom Trail" and sightseeing. The weather was great, slightly hotter than in the forecast, but there were only a few clouds in the sky. The forecast called for light showers after lunch until around 8:00pm. We started our journey at the Holocaust Monument.
Ten years ago, this monument had such an impact on me that I no trouble remembering where it was. To walk through the six glass towers seeing row upon row of numbers nearly brought me to tears again. I was reminded of God's sovereignty even over death.
We then found the famous "red line" that marks the Freedom Trail, a trail that leads you by all the historical sights. We walked by Revere's house, saw some old churches, a few grave yards, and some interesting statues of Benjamin Franklin. Reading the inscriptions on the headstones in the cemetery was very interesting, almost all of them started with "Here lies the body of," reminding the onlookers and grievers that these people's souls were not there, just their bodies.
On our first trip, Justin took a picture just like this with the same statue.
One of the most popular places to visit is Quincy Market, named after Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organized its construction without any tax or debt. It used to be the place that people bought and sold food to each other, but now it is just a great place to each lunch with everything you can imagine.
Almost like a "where's Jeanna" photo!
We came upon a random statue of a donkey, and Justin and I happened to have just bought an apple at the local outside market.
We took the T (subway) to Fenway with great expectations and high hopes of seeing the Red Sox beat the Yankees. (Justin and I have been married for 11 years, and never had I been more excited about giving him something, the tickets to the game for his birthday. I saved for almost a year for these tickets, so I couldn't wait to experience this dream of his to see Fenway). After eating an early dinner, we strolled to the park about 5:15, with the game time being 7:10. We were in hopes of seeing some batting practice. A few minutes after we arrived, it started to drizzle, which it had been raining on and off all day. The tarp was on the field, but we were high hopes that the forecast would ring true and we would see a baseball game, even if it started late.
The drizzle continued and when game time came, the announcer said, "due to inclement weather the game is delayed."
We walked up and down under the park sat for awhile and waited. Finally, around 9:10, the rain stopped and the announcer said the new game time would be 10:00pm. We went to our seats, wiped them off, and sat down, anticipating this dream coming true. About 20 minutes later, it stared to rain again, we put our ponchos on and opened the umbrella and listened as the announcer went on with the pregame show.
Before it rained, we took some pictures.
Justin in front of the "green monster."
While it was raining slightly, the Red Sox pitcher came out and was warming up. My favorite player, Jason Varitek (I spelled his name wrong on the picture below!), came out to warm him up. I was thrilled to see him and Big Papi in the starting line up.
Another 10 minutes went by and then we saw the yellow coats come back out and start spreading the tarp back over the field. Disappointment rose up inside me for Justin mostly. I patiently waited for him to say let's go, but kept praying and hoping that the game would be played. We waited, sitting in the pouring rain until 10:45. (By the way, those $1 ponchos kept us pretty dry). Wet, disappointed, and tired, we took the T back to our friends house. We knew that the game would be rescheduled but that we would already be back in North Carolina. There are no refunds. As we rode the T that night, I was so thankful for husband who handles disappointed with grace and humility, one who trusts in the One who is sovereign over the rain. I learned a lot about myself and realized more than anything that I love my husband more than any other thing or person in this world. I was reminded that "the heart of man plans his way, but he Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
Thanks Justin for a wonderful time, here's to 11 more years growing together in the Lord. I love you!
My parents flew in a week ago Saturday to be here for a week. It was our fall break from school as we enjoyed our visit.
We met them at the airport.
Pure joy and excitement upon the arrival of Amma and Papa John.
Since they arrived on Saturday, we just hung out that night. We went to church on Sunday and then took my parents to experience one of my favorite restaurants, Moe's Southwest Grill. Monday, we went to Rocky Mount to Sam's in the rain, which it rained the whole time they were here except Tuesday. Monday night Papa John and Justin kept the kids so Mom and I could go our for our birthdays together. We went to the Beefmaster, a Wilson steak place. It was so good and wonderful to have some time talking and catching up. I am so thankful to be best friends with my mom, she is such a blessing and encouragement to me.
Tuesday was Karis' first soccer game. She was very excited as was I to see how she would do now playing 5 on 5 instead of 3 on 3. My parents were so glad to be able to see her play.
Papa John and Noah watching Karis play.
Number 3 taking it to the goal, trying to at least. Our team only shot once the whole game, we couldn't get the ball past their two defenders.
Karis and her teammate going for the ball. Karis was much more timid this year than last. Hopefully, she will not be the next time we play.
Noah cheering Karis on and being held by all of us.
Wednesday we traveled to Smithfield to the outlet malls as we do every time my parents come. The big reason my parents came were to keep the kids for Justin and I to travel to Boston for his birthday/our anniversary trip. We left on Thursday and came back Saturday. (More to come on that trip later).
A few family pics on Saturday after we got back before I took my parents to the airport really early on Sunday morning.
Thanks again Papa John and Amma for coming to see us. We love you.